Eliud Wabukala expected to restore faith in EACC

Friday January 20 2017

Eliud Wabukala

Retired Anglican Church of Kenya Archbishop Eliud Wabukala speaks before the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee during vetting for the position of Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission chairman at County Hall on January 5, 2017. He said he will tackle graft. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Retired Anglican Church of Kenya Archbishop Eliud Wabukala can now take over as the chairman of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), where his main task appears to be to restore confidence in the agency charged with fighting corruption, which has given Kenya a bad name.

While the commission has been running somewhat smoothly in the absence of a chairman, it is an agency that needs more of a moral than an administrative head in the fight against corruption, going by what the MPs who approved the nomination of Rev Wabukala said during his vetting and approval by the National Assembly.

Its last chairman, Mr Phillip Kinisu, left office when it was discovered that he co-owned a company that did business with the scandal-hit National Youth Service.

After trying with a celebrated lawyer, a respected judge and then a thorough and experienced professional, Kenya has now settled for a man of the cloth.

The Rev Wabukala’s appointment was on Thursday formalised by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

President Kenyatta wished the Rev Wabukala success in his new job and described him as “an eminently qualified and respected leader who will deliver his mandate at the helm of the EACC to the expectation of Kenyans”.

When he was being vetted by MPs, the lawmakers made it clear that the soft-spoken man with a smile on his face was the last hope as all other highly qualified individuals had failed.

“We hope you will be able to slay the dragon because Kenyans are looking up to you as a man of integrity and a man of God. If you are not able, we do not know who else to turn to because we have tried other prominent Kenyans and they have failed,” Kuresoi North MP Moses Cheboi had said.

While several former civil servants, and a former MP, were convicted of corruption-related charges in 2016, there are still no real big fish jailed based on the evidence gathered by the commission.

So far, the team has recommended the prosecution of seven governors on corruption-related charges.

Five obtained orders stopping their prosecution while two have taken pleas.

The Rev Wabukala had told the vetting team that once in office, he planned on “rewarding those who fight corruption and punishing those who condone it”, saying the work of government was “divine” in punishing evil and rewarding good.